Many people do not realize how much risk they are taking when they book a ticket on a budget airline to fly during the holiday season. The problem with budget airlines is that when they break down or have weather problems no other airlines will back them up and provide their customers with alternate flights. So if you fly on Allegiant, Spirit, Southwest, and other low fare carriers and they have a mechanical problem or flight delays that keeps them from flying because the pilots have run out of flying hours, then you are stuck and have to wait until the airline has an empty space to rebook you. During the holiday travel season the airlines run 100% full on most flights. This means you might have to wait 4 or 5 days to find an empty seat. Compare this to flying on a major airline such as United. If they cancel a flight they will try to get you on another of their flights however, they have reciprocating agreements with Delta and American to get you home if the other airlines have seats available. You might be O.K. to be stuck for an extra 5 days in sunny Phoenix in the winter but what about if you are stuck in Fargo, ND?
Just say NO! When an airline offers you to buy frequent flyer miles –
Generally speaking the offers that airlines make this time of year to purchase miles are not a good deal. The only exception I have seen to my rule is the one American Airlines made on Black Friday. They offered to sell 123,000 miles (enough to redeem for a business class ticket to Europe) for $2213. This is a good deal as a business class ticket to Europe can range from $3200 to $6500 round-trip. American also offered to sell 172,000 miles (enough for a first class ticket to Europe) for $2,950. This is an amazing price as first class tickets sell for between $6500 and $14,000 round-trip. I will be sure to let you know if or when I see something like this come across my desk.
3 of every 10 hotel rooms goes empty every night –
The hotel industry is enjoying a very strong year again this year as hotel rates have been rising and occupancy rates are on the rise in most cities. Hotels continue to struggle with feast or famine as one day they are full and turning away guests and the next they are almost empty. Most people don’t realize that the average occupancy rate for the U.S. is approximately 68%, which means 3 of every 10 hotel rooms goes empty every night. This is why there is such a swing in hotel rates and why there are so many web sites that offer so many different hotel rates. The good news for consumers is that in the past 3 years with low interest rates, hotel developers have built hundreds of new mid-scale hotels around the country which add to the number of rooms and puts more price pressure on the hotels to fill their rooms. The more flexibility you have the greater options you have to find great hotel prices.
American Airlines has a really cool map that shows you where you can travel with your frequent flyer miles –
American Airlines has put together a real easy way for you to figure out how to use your frequent flyer miles. The map lets you put in how many miles you want to use and the dates you want to travel. It will show you all the cities you can travel to and then you just select the city and the flights. It also allows you to check to see if business class seats are available in the advanced search option. Three cheers to AA for making it easier to use your frequent flyer miles. CLICK HERE to see the map.
Ever think that the taxi ride from the airport was more than the ride there? –
If you feel that way you are probably right as airports today silently tack on a hidden fee of up to $5 on top of taxi fares if they pick you up at the airport. There is no extra fee when they drop you off at the airport. The result is that if you paid $20 to take a taxi to the airport that same ride home could be $25 at many airports. And if you think you can simply take an Uber to avoid the airport fee, think again as the airports are also taxing them as well. Don’t all these hidden airport, hotel and airline fees just make you sick? It is becoming worthy of a Boston tea party revolt.
Attend our FREE Travel Night featuring three great destinations – Hawaii, Alaska and New England Fall Foliage –
Please join our FREE and exciting Travel Night next Tuesday, December 6, at 6:30pm, at the Bernina Suite 27 at The Shoppes at Piedmont, 1265 S Cotner Blvd, Lincoln, NE 68510. Join us for some holiday fun to hear about three breathtaking destinations and our grand tours to Hawaii, Alaska and New England Fall Foliage. Space is limited for this event, so do not hesitate to reserve your spot. Call 402-458-9842 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to tell us how many are in your party. We are looking forward to seeing you!
Need information on any of the above?
Call our friendly travel advisors….
Lincoln – 402-435-8888 Toll-free 800-737-0582